Improving Access to Medicines – National Medical Stockpile – replenishment and operations

This measure boosts Australia’s capacity to respond to a national health emergency by funding the National Medical Stockpile (NMS).

Page last updated: 09 May 2017

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Why is this important?

Australia’s geographic isolation could potentially compromise our ready access to the antivirals and specialist pharmaceuticals needed to respond to national public health emergencies, such as influenza pandemics or chemical, biological, radiological or terrorist attacks.

Maintaining a NMS that sources and stores essential pharmaceuticals provides Australians with greater access to health protecting medicines and supports our health system to respond to a national emergency.

This measure supports the continued procurement, management and replenishment of critical products such as specialty pharmaceuticals, including influenza antivirals for inclusion in the NMS.

The measure will support operational requirements to ensure surge capacity can be quickly activated to deploy NMS inventory and enhance the emergency response.

Who will benefit?

Maintaining the NMS ensures Australians have access to health protection measures, including essential drugs and medicines, in a national health emergency.

Under this measure, collaboration will continue with the states and territories to enhance national stockpiling arrangements and broader health protection requirements.

How much will this cost?

This measure will cost $85.4 million from 2017–18 to 2019–20.

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